Guitar great Muriel Anderson plays concert
BRANDON - Muriel Anderson, one of the world's premier guitarists, shared music and some tips with about two dozen people recently at Music Showcase. Anderson, 1989 national finger style guitar champion, has played her ethereal-sounding harp guitar and nylon- and steel-stringed guitars with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Phil Keaggy, Laurence Juber, Tommy Emmanuel and Lee Ritenour. Currently she tours the world with Tierra Negra, a German flamenco-nuevo guitar duo. When asked how she happened to be performing in Brandon, the petite, blonde instrumentalist from Nashville, Tenn., said she has family ties to the greater Brandon area.Anderson's musical journey began in Illinois at age 6, with piano lessons from her mother. When a family friend threw away a guitar, 8-year-old Anderson fished it out of the garbage and plucked her first melody in the car on the way home. She fell in love, she said. She played in a bluegrass band through high school, learned classical guitar at DePaul University and studied with Christopher Parkening, Juan Serrano and Chet Atkins. "I also took some fiddle lessons from Chet," Anderson said. "We got together once a week. I'd play, and he'd say, 'That's terrible.' I'd say, 'It's better than last week, isn't it?' He'd say, 'Yeah, but it's still terrible.'" During the intimate Brandon concert she played bluegrass, ragtime, flamenco, jazz, classical, ballads, funky Motown, pop and new age. "I've managed to find all the types of music that don't make money," she quipped. She plays it all "in service of the music," she said. "I try to make the music come alive, to let the music go where it wants. I use different techniques from various musical styles as tools to make melodies come alive."